A year from right now – springtime 2023 – could potentially bring interesting political activity within the Democratic ranks of Arlington and Fairfax counties, when it comes to the holding to account the prosecutors who slipped into office in 2019 behind the money of out-of-state left-wing interest groups.
Steven Descano in Fairfax and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti in Arlington narrowly knocked off middle-of-the-road and generally well-regarded incumbents in Democratic primaries that year, pushing an agenda that seemed at the time, and seems even more so now, to be too far out there for most people: Criminals are perceived as victims; victims are perceived as annoyances; public-safety personnel are viewed with suspicion.
A bizarre state of affairs? Yep. But then, we live in bizarre times.
(Of the two, we’d have to say that Dehghani-Tafti at least seems to be pleasant and willing to hear out opposing points of view. From Descano, not so much.)
Back when Northern Virginia was more a two-party enclave, there would be a chance for centrists to run in the general election and have a shot at victory. But that ship has sailed; assuming the incumbents run next year, and we have no reason not to, they need to be challenged in the Democratic primary. Otherwise, why bother?
And we suspect “why bother?” will be the response of even those who have concern about the current state of affairs in local justice issues and the real-world impacts of having ideologues in office at the local level. We’d wager the incumbents merrily roll along to ultimate victory, breaking nary a bead of sweat, because credible alternatives will not present themselves.
One thing’s for sure: Descano, Dehghani-Tafti and the interest groups that secured the offices for them will not go down without a fight. Challengers better get started early and find ways to cobble together a whole lot of cash.
Local residents would benefit from such a challenge. Perhaps we are just too jaded, but we don’t see it on the horizon. Hope, however, springs eternal.